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Reflecting on this simply titled painting America created back in 2010, I can’t help but read the scene through contemporary eyes. The picture seems to offer a glimpse into modern suburbia- the small child jumps from the proportionally even smaller pool. The figure peering out of his window enters the picture to the extreme left of the composition, and also brings the viewer along to his vantage point. The man on the right, with individualized features blurred, peers off to a distant horizon. While there is some mystery into the characters’ state of mind, or questions into what they’re seeking, I am most struck by the flag in the upper right. Bleached of its stars and stripes, it’s a vaguely anemic version of what we recognize. This might be more of an aesthetic or formal decision; not wanting the design to carry the visual weight and movement into the far corner of the composition. But I can’t help but wonder if it holds more narrative significance because of the title of the work.
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